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Volunteers help police cadets learn to spot signs of intoxication

Have you ever wondered how police officers are able to determine if someone is legally intoxicated? On the surface, it may seem a pretty straightforward process. But some people can imbibe quite a bit and still appear sober as a judge. So, in order to learn the signs of intoxication, Baton Rouge police cadets get some help from some lucky volunteers.

Now typically, the last place you would want to drink to the point of being legally drunk is in the police station. But in order to help with the cadet training, that is exactly what these volunteers get to do. Fifteen men and women start from the point of being stone cold sober with a measured blood alcohol concentration of 0.00 percent. They are then served a steady stream of drinks in an effort to get them to reach BAC levels as high as twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

The cadets then observe the volunteers to determine if they are drunk. There are several things that officers look for when attempting to find out if someone is intoxicated. For example, officers may ask suspects to follow the movement of a pen with their eyes. According to a police corporal, the less smooth the eye movement, the more alcohol the suspect has consumed.

A police sergeant states other signs of intoxication include physical imbalance and slurred speech. He also says that most suspects will admit to having been drinking.

If you are ever pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, remember that you do not have to reveal anything that is self-incriminating. And if you are arrested and charged with DWI, you have the right to contact an attorney who can act as your representative.

Source: WAFB Channel 9, "BRPD: Impaired driver training for ongoing police academy," Kiran Chawla, Aug. 19, 2015

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